BlackRock Throgmorton Trust

Last updated 03 April 2019
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Dan Whitestone offers a growth-orientated portfolio of UK small and mid caps, using both long and short positions...

Disclosure – Non-Independent Marketing Communication

This is a non-independent marketing communication commissioned by BlackRock Throgmorton Trust. The report has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on the dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

BlackRock Throgmorton Trust

Now the sole manager, Dan Whitestone offers a growth-oriented portfolio of UK small and mid caps through BlackRock Throgmorton Trust.

The trust is referred to as an ‘extension fund’ by BlackRock, using both long and short positions to deliver consistent capital growth and attractive total returns. More specifically, this means the trust can increase its overall gross exposure to the market, varying its net exposure over time. Dan aims to manage the portfolio so that the net exposure amounts to between 70% of NAV and 115% of NAV. The shorts are typically a smaller size than long positions, between 0.5% and 1% of NAV.

Fundamental analysis is at the heart of the strategy - Dan looks for high quality, differentiated companies which sit in structurally sound industries. Making full use of the investment trust structure, THRG is typically geared through the use of CFDs. As opposed to bank borrowing which incurs arrangement fees etc, CFDs allow the manager ultimate flexibility to react opportunistically to share price movements. Currently, Throgmorton’s gross gearing stands at 23%, although the net exposure (deducting shorts) is 90%.

The trust has an exceptional long-term track record of outperformance relative to the benchmark and peer group alike. Over the past five years (to the end of March), the trust has delivered NAV returns of 67.6%, seven times greater than the benchmark Numis Smaller Companies plus AIM ex inv com, (9.8%) and close to double the FTSE All Share (34.9%). The trust has also significantly outperformed the previous benchmark, the Numis SC Ex Invt Com, outperforming by c.38% over the past five years.

Given the company invests in one of the most out of favour sectors across the globe, the trust had a relatively strong year in 2018. The fact the smaller companies portfolio outperformed the benchmark by over 6%, and only marginally underperformed the FTSE All share (-9.5%) over this period, is surely a testament to the manager and his quality driven investment style, and ability to add alpha through shorts.

The trust’s discount has narrowed significantly since the referendum in 2016 – when it reached a 22% discount at one point - and we have continued to see it narrowing over 2018 and 2019 ytd. Currently the discount sits at close to 5.5%.

William Sobczak
William joined Kepler Partners in February 2018 as an investment trust analyst. Prior to joining, William graduated from the University of Western Australia, with a BSc in Psychology.

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Key facts

Investment objective

The Company aims to provide shareholders with long-term capital growth and an attractive total return by investing primarily in UK smaller companies and mid-capitalisation companies

As at:



BlackRock Throgmorton



Management Company


Manager Name

Dan Whitestone

Association of Investment Companies (AIC) Sector

UK Smaller Companies

12 Mo Yield


Dividend Distribution Frequency


Latest Market Capitalisation


Net exposure


Latest Ongoing Charge Ex Perf Fee 


Shares Outstanding


(Discount)/ Premium (Cum Fair)


Daily Closing Price



This report has been issued by Kepler Partners LLP.  The analyst who has prepared this report is aware that Kepler Partners LLP has a relationship with the company covered in this report and/or a conflict of interest which may impair the objectivity of the research.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested when you decide to sell your investments. It is strongly recommended that if you are a private investor independent financial advice should be taken before making any investment or financial decision.

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